Hangarau: Technology

Technology education is about finding solutions to challenges and developing processes, artifacts and/or materials to meet needs. It involves multiple layers of awareness and helps akoranga develop theoretical and practical knowledge and skills in analysing, designing, developing, testing, implementing and evaluating.

"Technology learning highlights man's ability to shape and change the physical world to meet needs, by manipulating materials and techniques."

Akoranga start on the pathway to learning about hangarau at a very early age. From when they first pick up a block and add it to another, or when they realise that using furniture to hold on to makes it easier to walk, when they take their frirst steps.
Younger learners have technological ability blended with inventiveness and imagination that our education system then 'educates' out of them as the focus is on developing reading and writing skills, knowledge and the ability to regenerate facts, figures and dissertations on demand. What if we focused on the skills that each child has; those naturally artistically gifted children, those mathematically inclined and the technologically talented ones that all shine out at early primary school.

Historically, Moriori were masters at technology and technological developments and in harmony with taiao (the environment) they developed clothing, tools, weapons and shelter without over harvesting the natural resources necessary for their own long term hakat henu (indigenous peoples) of Rēkohu, needed to manage the natural resources of the islands carefully to ensure their own long-term survival.


The Ancestor's world:


Moriori had the technological skills and ability to develop stone art and stone tools and produced some spectacularly beautiful examples of both ceremaonial and practical tools and adzes in a range of sizes. The common material used was basalt or schist. although other stone types were utilised, depending on the peupose of the tool being developed.


The momori rakau (dendrogyphs) that Moriori carved on the trunks of the Kopi trees display and artistic simplicity that is breath taking and completely different to similar mainland-Māori endeavours. Moriori learned and knew enough about growth cycles that they apportioned forests to families and harvested trees for firewood, shelters and tools, rather than just felling swathes of forest as happens today.


From the scraped-flax 'weruweru' (matting) worn by the ancestors, to the sealskin garments that adorned Moriori when Europeans stumbled upon the islands, Moriori demonstrated technological knowledge and ability commensurate with the need and the times. Their knowledge and skills was misunderstood and belied the reputation given them by the european and subsequent Māori invaders.  They had developed tools for catching fish, harvesting whitebait, felling trees, mastered fire, which they could transport, even at sea and built shelters which could withstand the extreme conditins and biting winds.
One of the most impressive technological developments would have to be the 4 different variants of the wash-through craft they developed, in response to a lack of suitable timber and a need to travel across the waters between off=shore islands. These waka (ra, pahii, puhara and rimu) were totally unique to these islands and were incredibly stable, although designed to float partially submerged.

The state of the global environment, endless bloodshed in various corners of the world and even the state of our waterways here in New Zealand make technology one of the key areas of learning for coming generations of No.8 kiwi kids as we develop ways of making life easier for ourselves, in terms of  communication, travell and consumersim. We are also putting more pressure on a planet not used to these levels of populationon and already struggling under the burden and effects of industrialisation and consumer excesses and demand. Technology needs to be trending towards finding solutions that help the planet and mankind, rather than just man, because disrupting the harmonious relationships of papatuank' will have devaststing consequences for mankind. Technology education needs to keep a very mindful eye on the past and draw from the lessons learned there, as technological development-within boundaries allowed the ancestors to live on the far-flung islands of Rēkohu for hundreds and hundreds of years. By comparison, in just a mere 200-odd years the rest of the world has beaten a clear pathway towards destruction for us all.


As with all learning, the focus should be on giving akoranga the skills for learning for life, not pouring in knowledge that will wash away with time.



According to the New Zealand Curriculum document, Technology Education is about:

Technology is intervention by design. It uses intellectual and practical resources to create technological outcomes, which expand human possibilities by addressing needs and realising opportunities. Design is characterised by innovation and adaptation and is at the heart of technological practice. It is informed by critical and creative thinking and specific design processes. Effective and ethical design respects the unique relationship that New Zealanders have with their physical environment and embraces the significance of Māori culture and world views in its practice and innovation. Technology makes enterprising use of knowledge, skills and practices for exploration and communication, some specific to areas within technology and some from other disciplines. These include digitally-aided design, programming, software development, various forms of technological modelling, and visual literacy – the ability to make sense of images and the ability to make images that make sense.

How is the learning area structured?

The technology learning area has three strands:Technological Practice, Technological Knowledge, and Nature of Technology. These three strands are embedded within each of five technological areas:

  •       * Computational thinking for digital technologies
  •       * Designing and developing digital outcomes
  •       * Designing and developing materials outcomes
  •       * Designing and developing processed outcomes
  •       * Design and visual communication.
  • Strands 

Although the three strands are described separately below, in reality they are almost always integrated in teaching and learning programmes.

In Technological Practice, students examine the practice of others and undertake their own. They develop a range of outcomes, including concepts, plans, briefs, technological models, and fully realised products or systems. Students investigate issues and existing outcomes and use the understandings gained, together with design principles and approaches, to inform their own practice. They also learn to consider ethics, legal requirements, protocols, codes of practice, and the needs of and potential impacts on stakeholders and the environment.

Students develop Technological Knowledge particular to technological enterprises and environments and in relation to how and why things work. They learn how functional modelling is used to evaluate design ideas and how prototyping is used to evaluate the fitness for purpose of systems and products as they are developed. An understanding of material properties, uses and development is essential to understanding how and why products work the way they do. Similarly, an understanding of the constituent parts of systems and how these work together is essential to understanding how and why systems operate in the way they do.

For the Nature of Technology, students develop an understanding of technology as a discipline and of how it differs from other disciplines. They learn to critique the impact of technology on societies and the environment and to explore how developments and outcomes are valued by different peoples in different times. As they do so, they come to appreciate the socially embedded nature of technology and become increasingly able to engage with current and historical issues and to explore future scenarios..


Technological Areas

Computational thinking for digital technologies
Computational thinking enables students to express problems and formulate solutions in ways that means a computer (an information processing agent) can be used to solve them.

In this area, students develop algorithmic thinking skills and an understanding of the computer science principles that underpin all digital technologies. They become aware of what is and isn’t possible with computing, allowing them to make judgments and informed decisions as citizens of the digital world.

Students learn core programming concepts and how to take advantage of the capabilities of computers, so that they can become creators of digital technologies, not just users. They develop an understanding of how computer data is stored, how all the information within a computer system is presented using digits, and the impact that different data representations have on the nature and use of this information.

Designing and developing digital outcomes
In this area, students understand that digital applications and systems are created for humans by humans. They develop increasingly sophisticated understandings and skills for designing and producing quality, fit-for-purpose, digital outcomes. They develop their understanding of the technologies people need in order to locate, analyse, evaluate and present digital information efficiently, effectively and ethically.

Students become more expert in manipulating and combining data, using information management tools to create an outcome. They become aware of the unique intellectual property issues that arise in digital systems, particularly with approaches to copyright and patents. They also develop understandings of how to build, install, and maintain computers, networks and systems so that they are secure and efficient.

Students develop knowledge and skills in using different technologies to create digital content for the web, interactive digital platforms and print. They construct digital media outcomes that integrate media types and incorporate original content. They also learn how electronic components and techniques are used to design digital devices and integrated to assemble and test an electronic environment.

Designing and developing materials outcomes
In this area, students develop knowledge and skills that enable them to form, transform and work with resistant materials, textiles and fashion. This allows them to create both conceptual and prototypic technological outcomes that solve problems and satisfy needs and opportunities. They develop knowledge about the systems, structures, machines and techniques used in manufacturing products, and they use manufacturing and quality assurance processes to produce prototypes and batches of a product.

Students’ thinking becomes more and more reflective, critical and creative as they assess and critique materials outcomes in terms of quality of design, fitness for purpose, and impact and influence on society and the environment. Students become increasingly skilled in applying their knowledge of design principles to create innovative outcomes that realise opportunities and solve real-world problems.

Designing and developing processed outcomes
In this area, students develop knowledge of the materials and ingredients used to formulate food, chemical and biotechnological products. They form, transform and manipulate materials or ingredients to develop conceptual, prototypic and final technological outcomes that will meet the needs of an increasingly complex society.

Students engage in a range of processes related to food technology, biotechnology, chemical technology and agricultural technologies. They explore the impact of different economic and cultural concepts on the development of processed products, including their application in product preservation, packaging and storage. They also develop understandings of the systems, processes and techniques used in manufacturing products and gain experience from using these, along with related quality assurance procedures, to produce prototypes or multiple copies of a product.

Students demonstrate increasingly critical, reflective and creative thinking as they evaluate and critique technological outcomes in terms of the quality of their design, their fitness for purpose and their wider impacts. They become more and more skilled in applying their knowledge of design principles to create desired, feasible outcomes that resolve real-world issues.

Design and visual communication
In this area, students learn to apply design thinking. They develop an awareness of design by using visual communication to conceptualise and develop design ideas in response to a brief. In doing so, they develop visual literacy: the ability to make sense of images and the ability to make images that make sense. They apply their visual literacy through using sketching, digital modes and other modelling techniques to effectively communicate and present design ideas.

Students learn that designers identify the qualities and potential of design ideas in terms of the broad principles of design (aesthetics and function) and of sustainability. They also understand that designers are influenced by human, societal, environmental, historical and technological factors.


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